My favorite part of yoga


[it’s not savasana]

Hello my friends, welcome to Chapter 51 of Sanguine Stories. This month we’re exploring Sanguine Element #10, how to look within. In this episode, I’m sharing with you my favorite part of my yoga practice, on the mat.

No, it’s not savasana.  It’s the beginning and ending where I get to sit on the mat quietly, eyes softly closed, preparing myself for the practice ahead and then ending the practice the same way as I head out into the real world.

It was also the favorite part for my clients when I was teaching, both in group classes and private sessions.

One of my private clients told me that it was the best way for him to get centered and ease away from the day.  He was a highly motivated young guy, a go-getter that was constantly on the move between university, the rowing team and working full time.

Sitting quietly allowed him to look inward. To take a moment to just pause and be present.

While my students knew that I was there, there was never any unease in them as they sat on the mat with their eyes closed. They were able to completely let go as soon as they had rolled out their mat and came to a sitting position.

Most of my students didn’t want to talk a whole lot when they first arrived. They knew that this was their time, to be present with themselves, to work on themselves, to give to themselves.

And if they laid down before the session started, that was a sign for me that their energy level, mentally or physically, may be lower than normal. And to be mindful of the kind of practice I’d offer them that day.

There are so many distractions today. The constant never-ending stream of social media, the ding of our phones when a new message arrives, or someone likes our Instagram photo. Then there’s the traffic, the shopping, taking kids to school, getting to work, working out, did we close the garage door when we left?  Even planning a vacation can start to feel overwhelming.

Taking a few breaths to sit on the mat before moving into a physical asana practice is always my way of both supporting those who I’ve taught as well as myself… on how to pause and let the world fall away.  While still being present, in this moment.

Unsure how to get to that place? Where you feel settled and relaxed enough to transition from your hectic life to a calm and content state on the mat?  Or just in general? To shift from your busy life, being out and about, to come home and be caring and kind to yourself and those in your home?

I get that. In my 5 day challenge group, I heard from many of the participants who said they would come home from a busy, challenging or overwhelming day and then take out their frustrations and fatigue on themselves, either through negative self-talk or on their families. Both of which they would prefer not to do but always felt like they got caught up in the moment and couldn’t stop themselves. And then regretted it later.

Here’s what I’d say to help you transition from chaos to calm:

It always starts by first being mindful, looking within and remembering your inherent harmony.

I know, easier said than done…

There are no quick fixes. Positive, transformative change takes time – and effort. I help people figure out how to make those long term, sustainable changes in my online programs and 1×1 mindset coaching.

And remember, it’s my birthday month so I’m offering my DIY Inherent Harmony program, plus my other online programs, for 50% off! I’ve even shared with you the intro module in Sanguine Stories Chapter 50. I’ll put a link in the show notes so you can come check it out.

Here’s a few ideas to help you bring a sense of calm as you approach your yoga practice (or other wellness practice to be more present in the moment):

If you’re coming to the mat, turn off your phone, or leave it in another room or the car. Tell your family or roommates that this is “your time”. Be mindful of how you roll out your mat, set up your props, even as you come to sitting – Be present.

Take a moment to notice where your body is hurting, feeling good, what thoughts are racing through your mind. Then come back to the feeling of just sitting on the mat. Let your shoulders relax, your eyes softly close. Look within. Acknowledge yourself for taking this time, for yourself.

That sense of ease might not happen right away. But with time, with practice, it will become easier for you to transition from hectic and harried to calm and content.

And with time, it will likely roll over, off the mat and into your daily life.

I’ll be talking more about how to be more present in your everyday life in 2019… stay tuned!

As always, thank you for being a part of my Sanguine community. 

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I’d love to hear from you… How do you find your center and feel more at ease in life? Or does life sometimes feel more chaotic and out of control and you’re unsure how to manage it all? Leave me a comment below… g


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chrissy gruningerChrissy Gruninger is an author and mindset coach. She mentors people on how to live their ONE beautiful life, wherever they may be. Her latest book, Lost and Found in the Land of Mañana explores her life in Costa Rica and both the challenges of working and living abroad as well as the beautiful life we can create from those experiences.

She loves her rainforest beach shack in Costa Rica, the sunshine and the rain and passionately believes that through intentional actions we create more happiness, health and harmony in the world. 

Her goal: to empower others to thrive in an imperfect world.